HOME PROJECTS BEFORE YOU LIST
If you are thinking about listing your home this spring use this time of year to get your home show-ready. With higher interest rates buyers are slow to commit. This too shall pass so now is a great time to tackle those dreaded home to-do lists. Here is a list of home projects before you put your house on the market. Not thinking of selling anytime soon?
Great! These ideas work even if your plans are to sell in ten years!
This list of projects is what I provide to potential sellers. This list includes tasks to consider prior to listing your home. Are you ready? Let’s go!
10 HOME-RELATED PROJECTS BEFORE YOU LIST
1. PACK + STACK
Earlier this year I shared this list of items to pack + stack before you list your home. It is the first suggestion I make when I meet with sellers and we discuss a target list date.
2. TOUR YOUR HOME
Walk through your house from the front door to the back steps. Walk your home from the top floor to the lower level. Don’t forget the unfinished space in the basement.
Walk your yard too!
What do you see? If you suspect you have too much furniture in a tight room; chances are you have too much furniture. Pay attention to the condition of furniture and accessories, and lighting.
What’s the condition of your rugs?
I talk about rugs in #9.
Tip: I suggest my sellers hire a home stager for a one-hour consult. It is always easier to hear suggestions and feedback from a neutral, third party.
3. CREATE A PUNCH LIST
Create a punch list during a self-guided tour of your home.
I learned this next suggestion from working with buyers and new construction builds.
Tip: Take a roll of blue (or green) painter’s tape and flag the punch list items that you or a handyman can repair. I suggest taping:
- paint or stain touchups
- dirty baseboards that need cleaning
- smoke/fire alarms that need new batteries
- items to clean
4. CONSIDER A PRE-LIST HOME INSPECTION
A pre-list home inspection removes some of the “surprises” that arise once you are under contract. A pre-list home inspection does not eliminate buyers from scheduling an inspection, but it can take some of the worries about the mechanics (electrical, furnace) and potential repairs.
Home inspections are general inspection and the detail varies by the inspector.
If your home has been hit with hail storms, now is a good time to get a roof inspection.
Big-ticket items like roofs and sewers typically require separate inspections. Save receipts.
5. PURCHASE FRESH HAND TOWELS
Purchase fresh hand towels for the main-level guest bathroom.
Ideally, you have fresh hand towels by every sink. I encourage sellers to keep their new hand towels under the sink or behind the everyday hand towels. When a showing is scheduled you can toss the tired towels under the sink.
6. CLEAN CLOSETS, DRAWERS + CABINETS
Sellers should assume buyers will open drawers, cabinets, closets, and refrigerators. Now is the time to organize junk drawers, bathroom cabinets (I have strong feelings about bathroom toiletries in view) and coat closets. Pack, stack, donate, or toss the extra.
TIP: Hide prescription medicines
7. PAINT + TOUCHUPS
Touch up the baseboards with a fresh coat of semi-gloss white paint.
If you don’t want to scoot around the floor touching up baseboards your REALTOR®is a great resource for painters. Buyers notice baseboards.
As a reminder, this list works great for those of us who are “aging in place.” in our homes.
8. CLEAN LIGHT SWITCHES
Over time light switches get yucky. Take a handful of Q-tips and rubbing alcohol or all-purpose cleaner and go around the switch plates and light switches. I prefer Lysol wipes.
If the wall plates are really dirty buy new ones at Home Depot for under $2.00 (they may be closer to $3.00 this year).
Let me start with this: I don’t love rugs during the listing period. Why? Rugs unintentionally (or sometimes intentionally) hide pet accidents, deep scratches and faded hardwood floors. fading.
I prefer fewer rugs during the listing. At a minimum I want sellers to roll up rugs to inspect the condition of the flooring under the rug.
If the wood is darker under the rug, where it was protected from the sun, you might have an issue. Better to know and disclose.
Sometimes a coat of wood cleaner and wax will correct the shades of a faded wood floor. But, it is better for buyers to see the discrepancy on the front end and address it in an offer.
10. FIND RECEIPTS, MANUALS, UTILITY COSTS, WARRANTIES AND PROPERTY STAKES
Be proactive and honest. Track down warranties and receipts for big-ticket improvements.
Buyers love to see receipts for routine maintenance. It suggests sellers took care of their homes.
Gather your utility fees for a 12-month period. You can usually access this online or call your service providers and ask them to assist you.
Warranties and permits are important docs to make available to buyers.
Finally, if you live on acreage or a neighborhood with larger, wooded lots either locate the property stakes and/or get a plat map.
Again, your REALTOR®, friends and neighbors are a great resource for service providers.
Tip: Always ask for more than one referral so you can compare estimates and scope of work details.
Thank you for stopping by today. This list is great for potential sellers and those of us who have no interest in moving but want to organize our house. Good luck!
Take a breath. Good Luck! Please reach out to me with questions. I would love it if you joined my Saturday morning newsletter, the Weekend Edit, delivered to your inbox (it’s free). You can sign up below or here.
This sounds like a lot of work. lol!!
It makes a huge difference, but yes the pre-inspection is definitely not for everyone!
The ironic thing is my husband will be my most difficult seller! Ha!
I have pinned this article for when we move – very helpful! Where can we view the pack and stack list?
I’ll find the link! xo laura
When we visited our house for the first time as prospective buyers every light was turned on. I was perplexed until we moved in and saw how little natural light the front rooms of our house receive as we are north facing and there are some trees blocking the sun. If I ever sell I will be sure to have every light turned on 🙂
I am with your hubs on the pre-inspection, let the buyer’s agent order their own and go with it, prices, etc. can be negotiated based on the inspection report if any defects are found. The rest of your list I agree with and even go a step further, to reduce the clutter, you can rent Big Box shipping containers to store furniture, etc., you think you may need in your new house, there is a reasonable charge, they will deliver, you fill, they will deliver to your final destination. Hire a cleaning service to deep clean. I was surprised about the rug paragraph, interesting as I never thought about it. To get top dollar for your house reduce your clutter and furniture by at least 50%, repair and paint the obvious before listing. Also, a great point about the yards, many people tend to overlook them. In Southern California the backyard is a big deal and could be a selling point. The rest of your list has excellent ideas for anyone thinking of selling.
Thank you Ella! Great feedback! laura